How to do Afternoon Tea. Properly.

August 19, 2014

Afternoon Tea

I have recently developed a massive thing for afternoon tea. The reason for this, I am sure, is the same reason I love a buffet: the variety. I want all the dainty bits and bobs and plenty of them. The afternoon tea was introduced by the 7th Duchess of Bedford, who got bored of the 4 o’clock slump and decided to do something about it. The practice spread, grew more and more elaborate, and by Edwardian times it was a full on gowns and fine china job. I have a book called ‘Afternoon Tea at The Ritz’ full of lovely titbits (bit like the tea itself) about afternoon tea etiquette, such as that “those who take sugar in their tea are advised to propel the spoon with a minimum of effort and to remove it without fail before raising the cup”. Even now the idea of leaving a spoon in the cup while sipping seems unthinkable, doesn’t it?  What are you, some kind of Cup-a-Soup guzzling animal?

Nowadays, some people do afternoon tea as a tourist activity, like having a cream tea in Cornwall, or gumming at a soggy pasty in the rain. There are people who enjoy the ceremony of it, and there are those who just enjoy sitting about in a nice room with a silver teapot, discussing whether or not it really should be Humphrey’s turn to drive to Henley this year. Some people go only for the cakes, while some enjoy the sandwiches just as much. I want the whole package, and I have strong ideas about how said package should be delivered.

The Sandwiches

The sandwich to cake ratio is usually 1/3 sandwiches, 2/3 cakes. This is not correct, because the sandwiches, to me, are of equal importance. You know I like sandwiches, right? Did I mention anywhere that I like sandwiches? Some places, like Claridge’s, offer unlimited rounds. This is both a blessing and a curse because, well…talk about a red rag to a bull. I ate three rounds and had to take half the cakes home. Some of you will live and learn. I won’t.

The flavours of the sandwiches should be as follows:

1. Cucumber. The classic, and a good test of the measure of a place. The cucumber sandwich, you see, can’t be made too far in advance. I had an afternoon tea recently at a hotel in Scotland, where the kitchen was very much into making stuff in advance. I mean, more than was appropriate. Needless to say, cucumber sandwiches did not feature in their afternoon tea. The bread should be very white and fresh, the butter pure and salty, and the cucumber glistening.

2. Egg mayonnaise, which can come with or without cress, I don’t mind, but do be careful if you’re going to start adding anything else. This is an English egg mayonnaise, not an American egg salad. There definitely should not be any crunch. Some Americans put celery in their egg mayo. CELERY!

3. Smoked salmon, with either cream cheese or butter. If going with the latter, then it will need a squeeze of lemon. Black pepper. Light brown bread.

4. A meat sandwich. The obvious options are ham (with mustard, or I’ve had a rather nice variation with celeriac remoulade; bit Frenchy but I’ll allow it), or beef (preferably with horseradish). Some go for chicken. Few get away with it. Claridge’s did, but then they can get away with pretty much anything.

After that, it’s up to the individual. A few points to bear in mind however:

1. There should be no dipping of knives into chutney jars. Sweet fruit chutney (the kind you find at food markets between the painted plates and olives) is disgusting, but nobody else seems to have realised.

2. Salad leaves should be used with caution, because it’s difficult to make them dainty and the texture isn’t right for a finger sandwich. If watercress is involved, it needs to be chopped so it doesn’t come out in one long piece, pulling half the filling with it, before slapping against your chin.

3. All or almost all of the fillings should be British.

4. A generous amount of seasoning is really important; I’m forever adding salt to afternoon tea sandwiches.

Claridge's Tea Sandwiches


These should always be included and served warm, with strawberry or raspberry jam and clotted cream. I had an afternoon tea recently where the scones came with whipped cream (top photo). Whipped! I ask you. Someone should be sacked for that.

I care not for the argument about whether cream or jam should come first, despite having Cornish ties.



Tricky area, this, as there’s so much room for variation, but here goes.

1. It’s a tad controversial, but I do like to find some sort of dainty cheesecake or moussey arrangement. It needs to be classy, though, with a fruit flavour; no chocolate and no cheese shaped wedges. This isn’t TGI Friday’s.

2. There should be a spongey thing, but again, it needs to meet the visual and size requirements, which can be a challenge because sponge falls more into the WI cakes category.

3. There should be a chocolate number, preferably adorned with spirals and twirls of other chocolate, possibly in different colours. I don’t mind as long as they look like they were really difficult to make.

4. A pastry tart is nice, with a very thin, obscenely buttery casing, filled with custard, topped with fruit and finished with a glaze that makes it shinier than Pierluigi Collina‘s head. 

Shiny Fruit Tart

Fruit Tart or Pierluigi Collina?

5. There should be some sort of cake which is the equivalent of the Great British Bake Off showstopper. It should have layers of things made via different, preferably complicated techniques. It should be dusted, decorated, bejewelled, encrusted with diamonds, covered in ambergris, whatever. The point is that it should be impressive.

6. Cupcakes do not belong.

7. I feel a bit funny about macarons. Are they a biscuit? Are they a cake? Are they just annoying? They seem to be the most over rated confection ever. I don’t mind seeing them sitting on the silver stand but they’d better be damn well perfect.


Cupcakes: NO


Diddy perfection at Claridge’s

Things in Shot Glasses

If it were up to me, I’d do away with these. Yes, they add some height above the other cakes, and, as they’re often filled with some sort of fruit jelly, I do see their place in lightening the whole tea but, to be honest, I find them tacky. Also, the spoon never fits right to the bottom of the glass, which is just frustrating.



The Tea

If you know what you’re doing, this should be proper, loose leaf tea. There are astonishing loose leaf teas available nowadays, and because they’re not cooped up in a bag, the leaves have room to unfurl. You can get a few brews from a fat pinch, with different subtleties of flavour each time. It’s called afternoon tea FFS, so the tea bit is very important. Teapots should be silver, or at least pretend to be.


Always. This is the only place that any biscuity-ness should be happening, so you want something that’s spent time on its lees (bits of yeast and whatnot leftover from fermentation). Yeah, that’s right, I’m down with the wine lingo nowadays. Something like Roederer non vintage should do nicely. 

So, does anyone else have any strong views on the AT? Does the order of jam and cream still matter if it’s not a cream tea? Are macarons really the most exciting confection since the Beefeater’s Horn of Plenty?


You Might Also Like


  • Avatar
    Reply Alicia (foodycat) August 19, 2014 at 1:01 pm

    I quite like a cheese shortbread if there must be a biscuit component.

  • Avatar
    Reply Alicia (foodycat) August 19, 2014 at 1:03 pm

    … and I had tea at the Savoy once which contained the most divine little pastry barquettes filled with blue cheese mousse. Personally I feel that there should be about 50/50 savoury/sweet, but the savoury doesn’t have to all be sandwiches.

    • Avatar
      Reply Helen August 19, 2014 at 1:13 pm

      That sounds good. I should have mentioned the cheesy gourgere things at Claridge’s, which do exactly that – fill the savoury but not sandwiches hole. I am down with those. Good point.

  • Avatar
    Reply Food Urchin August 19, 2014 at 1:04 pm

    Yeah! Biscuits can fuck right off!

    Not sure about this though Helen – “I care not for the argument about whether cream or jam should come first.”

    Have you been eating afternoon tea at Downton Abbey lately?

    • Avatar
      Reply Helen August 19, 2014 at 1:13 pm

      DOWNTOWN! I can’t watch it since the end of that season where um, thingy died. Pissed me right off, that did. What you on about?!

  • Avatar
    Reply Food Urchin August 19, 2014 at 1:06 pm

    Suppose I should say ‘taking’ afternoon tea really…….

  • Avatar
    Reply lee August 19, 2014 at 1:12 pm

    Can’t recall ever having had an AT, although having read this I would feel a lot more confident in that situation. Macarons by Hermes or Laduree are pretty bloody exciting and a like the whole savoury macaron amouse thing – nearly always beetroot for some reason – but half-arsed one’s can do one.

    • Avatar
      Reply Helen August 19, 2014 at 1:15 pm

      See that’s the thing, I don’t understand how Hermes and Laduree have made so much wonga out of macarons. I mean, they’re just not worth that much money in my mind. I like them! Don’t get me wrong, and I do appreciate the skill that goes into making them, but still. They seem to have a mythical status that I just don’t think is deserved.

  • Avatar
    Reply Catherine August 19, 2014 at 1:29 pm

    Hmm, you allow celeriac remoulade with ham but no celery with egg may?
    Who made you the boss of afternoon tea sandwiches?!?!

    I think in the summer perfect tomato sandwiches on white bread should be allowed, with salt and pepper.

    Smoked salmon is also good on granary or thinly sliced soda bread, and with capers.

    A nice butterfly cake is a thing of beauty and also delicious.

    No sultanas in the scones.

    Waitrose and Lidl sell frozen bake your own macarons.

    • Avatar
      Reply Helen August 19, 2014 at 1:35 pm

      Well Catherine, I made me the boss of my own blog, you see?

      I love a butterfly cake. Would love to see one in an afternoon tea. I used to make them as a kid which should disqualify them, really, being children’s party cakes, but they are just SO cute.

      I had no idea about frozen bake your own macarons! Hilarious.

  • Avatar
    Reply Hungry August 19, 2014 at 1:34 pm

    I never thought I was much of a stickler when it came to these things, but i found myself sagely nodding my head as I read it.

    A few notes on scones
    – NEVER fruited. The place for a fruit scone is with a cup of builders in a cafe (i like builders, i’m just saying)
    – clotted cream should be plentiful – either replace the pot as soon as it’s near empty, or provide a bigger pot. Afternoon tea is not the place for a thin scraping of clotted cream. In fact there is NO place for that
    – likewise jam but cream is more important

    Salmon sarnie should NOT come with cream cheese. it just makes it squishy and there’s enough squish in the egg mayo. Salmon, well buttered brown bread and black pepper ie enough.

    I once had a tiny warm mushroom puff as part of the savoury bit which was delicious.

    No cupcakes or muffins EVER- this aint starbucks!

    • Avatar
      Reply Helen August 19, 2014 at 1:39 pm

      People are SO against fruit in scones! I can understand why, although I don’t actually mind it myself. I always ask for extra cream too as I always use it all. Good point.

      I see where you are coming from on the cream cheese. I don’t mind it but I do prefer butter.

      Ooh I like the puff! Bit like a vol-au-vent which I also love. See buffet part at beginning.

  • Avatar
    Reply Stephen August 19, 2014 at 1:42 pm

    There should be laws about celery Helen…

    The only vegetable that takes more calorific energy to consume than it actually contains. Also, I have a waste disposal unit, and one of the warnings in the instructions, is never to put celery through it (bananas too), the long stringy bits can clog the works up, god knows what it does to oomans.

    As for the cream tea… I have it on good authority that the cream should be applied first, since it is replacing/improving on the butter that would otherwise have been there.

    NB: I have never had an “afternoon tea”, well, not an official one anyway. Claridges you say?

    • Avatar
      Reply Helen August 19, 2014 at 1:44 pm

      Oooh sometimes I even request butter and then apply butter AND clotted cream. I know, that’s living, huh?

      Claridge’s is the best I’ve ever had. It’s expensive, but totally worth it. The sandwiches, the cakes, the service, the room, everything is right.

  • Avatar
    Reply CatsWhiskersCats August 19, 2014 at 1:47 pm

    I’ve never had afternoon tea, though I did once have tea and scones at a local posh hotel where the scones has clearly been warmed in a microwave and there was microwaved hotshots that had dried out part of the scone. I agree with you though – whipped cream!!! OMG!!!

    • Avatar
      Reply Helen August 19, 2014 at 1:47 pm

      I KNOW, RIGHT?! Whipped cream!! You MUST go for an afternoon tea!

  • Avatar
    Reply Tracy August 19, 2014 at 1:55 pm

    Personally I find afternoon tea to be a very stressful experience. I hate the idea of not being offered unlimited supplies of sandwiches and scones, and so spend the time getting there, and the time while I eat the sandwiches, panicking that they won’t offer me more. I can easily do two rounds of each, although it does mean that it nearly kills me to force down the cute cakes at the end, but my cheapskate-must-have-value-for-money attitude comes out in full force on these occasions.

    Agree with your other points. Last afternoon tea I had was with salmon in rye bread which was much too heavy, and definitely stale. I still wanted seconds though. I have issues.

    Great post.

    • Avatar
      Reply Helen August 19, 2014 at 1:57 pm

      Ha ha, yes, you have issues! You should try the Claridge’s one in that case…you will nearly do yourself in with the unlimited sandwiches.

  • Avatar
    Reply Alicia (foodycat) August 19, 2014 at 2:20 pm

    On the unlimited sandwich question, I had tea at the Landmark several years ago. They brought more sandwiches on request and then they DENIED US CAKE because we’d had another go on the sandwiches. SO RUDE.

    • Avatar
      Reply Helen August 19, 2014 at 2:44 pm

      WHAT!!!! No way. That is worse than stingy, it’s deception! I can’t believe that actually happened. They didn’t bring you ANY cakes at all?

  • Avatar
    Reply Katrina August 19, 2014 at 2:39 pm

    Excellent post. Very much agree with your ground rules / dissection of afternoon tea (although *whispers* I prefer a fruit scone).

    Last posh afternoon tea I had was at The Lanesborough and it takes your cakes / difficult to make categories to heart – with a layer on the stand for little loaf cakes and the whole top tier reserved for things half way between patisserie and sweets – served on their gold foil card discs denoting things of joy which one could never make at home.

    I’d also suggest that not only sandwiches but tea should be frequently replenished (silver hot water pot = bonus). (Completely agree re leaf tea. Can’t understand why some places have not grasped that afternoon tea is a little bit about the tea). Some iced water also beneficial in enabling the amount of sugar consumption required.

    On the savouries The Lanesborough brought out little hot quiches. And alongside the warm scones were tea cakes. Which I like a lot, but could be a bit filling. Think I managed them as a reason to try the controversial addition of lemon curd to the jam/cream options. Pricey though.

    • Avatar
      Reply Helen August 19, 2014 at 2:45 pm

      ooh yes yes! I agree with replenishing tea. Also yes, the water is important. Good point!

      I am down with the quiches actually, and I once had some lovely little savoury quiches at um…now where was it? The Modern Pantry I think.

  • Avatar
    Reply Catherine August 19, 2014 at 3:00 pm

    Update: frozen macarons available through Ocado, not Waitrose.

    • Avatar
      Reply Helen August 19, 2014 at 3:28 pm

      Ah! Even better.

  • Avatar
    Reply Jess August 19, 2014 at 3:20 pm

    Spot on post Helen, I bloody love afternoon tea and Claridge’s is defo the best I’ve ever had. We managed 2 rounds of sarnies and scones but boy the cakes were a struggle.

    As for cream or jam first… how about cream then jam and then some more cream.

    • Avatar
      Reply Helen August 19, 2014 at 3:29 pm

      And then some more jam? And maybe some more cream. Then some more jam.

  • Avatar
    Reply Jess August 19, 2014 at 3:43 pm

    Yes. Exactly. Until you have the scone equivalent of the leaning tower of Pisa. Then unhinge your jaw like a snake and enjoy! I don’t mind a bit of fruit in my scones but then my old man is a builder!

  • Avatar
    Reply Cate August 19, 2014 at 5:42 pm

    I’m all up for a warmed mini danish or custardy arrangement in my high tea also.

    • Avatar
      Reply Helen August 19, 2014 at 5:48 pm

      Yes, a custardy arrangement is good. I’m not against a mini Danish. Not against it at all.

  • Avatar
    Reply Anna August 19, 2014 at 9:48 pm

    Last two times we had high tea was at the Savoy and Browns- both over the Christmas hol season when the cakes are more Christmas-y themed. Both offer unlimited sandwich servings (the Savoy staff were particularly gracious about it as I was 9 months pregnant and must have downed 4 rounds alone myself!) but as everyone pointed out, this was to the peril of the cakes which followed as I was so stuffed that I couldn’t possibly enjoy them.
    Damn, didn’t think about asking to take them home w me!

    • Avatar
      Reply Helen August 20, 2014 at 9:44 pm

      Argh! You must must must ask to take them home! To be fair, I don’t limit that request to afternoon tea. If I don’t finish the food I’m paying for, I’m taking that bounty home.

  • Avatar
    Reply Maggie August 19, 2014 at 10:21 pm

    Clearly I have no dog in this hunt, as I’m an American, but am curious: since mini quiches get a pass, how would you all feel about the appearance of savory gougeres at an AT?

    • Avatar
      Reply Helen August 20, 2014 at 9:45 pm

      Gougeres are IN. Notice the Claridge’s sandwich plate which features a cheesy puff. Totally IN.

  • Avatar
    Reply Kathy August 20, 2014 at 7:34 am

    Nice article but was it necessary for ‘F… off’ to be written? I was shocked when I read it under “Shot Glasses Not Allowed.” Nearly forwarded the article to a friend but decided not to as the phrase made it so trashy. Someone needs to do a better job of editing. Don’t you agree?

    • Avatar
      Reply Helen August 20, 2014 at 9:48 pm

      Hi Kathy, I’m sorry if the phrase offended you. I do a swear a bit on here, and the fact is, not everyone will find it funny. Glad you enjoyed the rest of the post anyway.

      I was of course tempted to respond simply with ‘fuck off’ but I don’t think you would’ve got the joke. You’re reading the wrong blog…

  • Avatar
    Reply Cate August 20, 2014 at 9:08 am

    Yes, custard always wins

  • Avatar
    Reply Alicia (foodycat) August 20, 2014 at 11:11 am

    They only brought cakes to the people who had not ordered more sandwiches (we were a large party) – which is how we knew that we were being denied cake. They brought scones for everyone, and when we asked the waiter why there were no more cakes he said “You had more sandwiches so you don’t get cake as well”.

    Warmed mini danish or other such custardy arrangement is a good idea – the fruit tartlet takes that position for me.

    • Avatar
      Reply Helen August 20, 2014 at 9:49 pm

      ABSOLUTELY OUTRAGEOUS (please name and shame…)

  • Avatar
    Reply Heather August 20, 2014 at 5:52 pm

    Nothing more annoying than getting afternoon tea where there is only one of each cake between two. The cakes can rarely be cut in half easily, and so instead you have to miss out on half the cakes / try to clumsily take a bite.

    • Avatar
      Reply Helen August 20, 2014 at 9:43 pm

      That is SUCH a good point!! Can’t believe I didn’t remember that. So important! Well done that woman.

  • Avatar
    Reply Morgan August 20, 2014 at 7:34 pm

    No crusts on the sandwiches! I want every single dainty bite of my tea sandwiches to be delightful, and no one ever runs the ingredients to the very edge, so fill first then de-crust.. And while sweet is wonderful, please don’t over do on the sugar.

    • Avatar
      Reply Helen August 20, 2014 at 9:50 pm

      Agree, agree and obviously, agree.

  • Avatar
    Reply Diana August 20, 2014 at 11:16 pm

    Helen, please don’t stop swearing – that was the bit that actually made me laugh out loud – although probably to my detriment as now the office has realised I’m reading about cakes not contracts.

    Kathy, are you American? ‘Fuck off’ can be quite posh in the UK, not necessarily trashy as I imagine it always is in the US. Still, I understand some just don’t like swearing at all, wherever they hail from.

    • Avatar
      Reply Helen August 21, 2014 at 11:12 am

      Ha ha thanks Diana. I was uncharacteristically apologetic there, no? Sensitivity about swearing irritates me. Don’t read the news, whatever you do – you might be upset at all the baddy wad things going on in the world!

      Sorry, Kathy…(AGAIN)

  • Avatar
    Reply MsMarmiteLover August 21, 2014 at 12:01 am

    This is an opportunity to plug my forthcoming book MsMarmitelover’s Secret Tea Party out in November!
    There is tea, sandwiches, cupcakes, gougeres, biscuits.

    • Avatar
      Reply Helen August 21, 2014 at 11:18 am

      God i love a gougere! Can’t believe I missed them out, and of course, plug away!

  • Avatar
    Reply Chris August 21, 2014 at 11:25 am

    Kathy: Who the fuck on planet earth complains about swearing on a personal blog? In 2014? Christ alive you must lead a sheltered fucking life.

  • Avatar
    Reply Ellie August 21, 2014 at 11:26 am

    My main thing is that the sandwiches shouldn’t be fridge-cold, otherwise you can’t taste the lovely fillings.

    • Avatar
      Reply Helen August 21, 2014 at 11:29 am

      Again, Ellie, a good point! I have missed so much here.

  • Avatar
    Reply Deepa August 21, 2014 at 11:28 am

    I once had one of those horrible chewy American style cookies in an afternoon tea tier, it was wrong. The scones were also flat so they weren’t really paying much attention.

    Who the hell serves WHIPPED CREAM?

    • Avatar
      Reply Helen August 21, 2014 at 11:30 am

      Argh. ARGH! Chewy cookies are vile. Is that a euphemism for being an American with delicate sensibilities? Oh you poor chewy cookie.

  • Avatar
    Reply Kat August 21, 2014 at 11:32 am

    This is the MOST divine conversation, and I agree with pretty much everyone on the tea subject (zero problem with the swears, and I shall be sending this to my dear mamma).

    I took said relative to The Savoy for tea a couple of years ago. Yes, it was after the revamp which everyone said was terrible, but that tea was fricking sensational. The classic sandwiches, excellent cakes, goodly refills of tea and proper biscuity booze, but the standout for me was a sandwich that had absolutely no business being there – some kind of foie gras I think, melting and gorgeous – but which was the most perfect meat addition.

    And the room was fabulous which helped a lot. Next stop Claridges.

    • Avatar
      Reply Helen August 21, 2014 at 11:52 am

      OOH! I haven’t had the Savoy one!! That sandwich is intriguing. I Shall book.

  • Avatar
    Reply Katie August 21, 2014 at 11:54 am

    OH GOD – great point Ellie, can’t *bear* fridge cold sarnies…..makes them taste of sad.

  • Avatar
    Reply Victoria August 21, 2014 at 12:26 pm

    Milli Taylor (@MillisKitchen) and I are planning another afternoon tea club soon (under Milk & Sugar). Come if you can, as we agree with you 99%. The 1% is stuff in shot glasses – we do that, cos it looks pretty, but we do give people tiny spoons that fit all the way down to the bottom.

    • Avatar
      Reply Helen August 21, 2014 at 3:23 pm

      I shall look you up! Would love to come along and give those dainty spoons a work out.

  • Avatar
    Reply Amanda August 21, 2014 at 1:10 pm

    What a great read! I had AT at Ramsey s in New York..The Americans totally fucked it up…when the mug came out because the ‘washing up wasn’t done ‘ I knew I was surrounded by idiots ..stale bread cut into fingers not triangles ..I nearly called the cops ! ..whipped cream too …considering clotted cream is just scorched cream gone cold and scrapped up…there’s no excuse to totally violet a British tradition …

    • Avatar
      Reply Helen August 21, 2014 at 3:25 pm

      ARGH!!!!! That is outrageous. It sounds awful. My sympathies.

  • Avatar
    Reply Amanda August 21, 2014 at 1:14 pm

    What a great read! I had AT at Ramsey s in New York..The Americans totally fucked it up…when the mug came out because the ‘washing up wasn’t done ‘ I knew I was surrounded by idiots ..stale bread cut into tiny fingers not triangles ..I nearly called the cops ! ..whipped cream too …considering clotted cream is just scorched cream gone cold and scrapped up…there’s no excuse to totally violate a British tradition …

  • Avatar
    Reply Maggie August 22, 2014 at 12:04 am

    This is the best AT discussion ever. I’ve learned ever so much. And as an American, I heartily endorse calling those of us with overdeveloped sensitivities Chewy Cookies. In fact, my next response to a self-pitying whinger is going to be “Fuck off, you Chewy Cookie.”

    So glad gougeres are permissible. And a melty foie gras sandwich, crustless and in a proper triangle, sounds divine.

    • Avatar
      Reply Helen August 22, 2014 at 2:42 pm

      Ha ha! Love it.

  • Avatar
    Reply Ian Goodrick August 22, 2014 at 11:05 pm

    You have nailed it!
    But the question is can any place make the perfect afternoon tea without failing on some point.
    Had afternoon tea at Liberty last week. the sandwiches were good. The cakes were good but the scones and cream were a disaster. Hard one fruit and one plain, both of which were rock hard, between two and a measly amount of clotted cream. The jam was so bland I can’t remember what it was!
    Also what order should the cakes be eaten in. Do you leave the chocolate number till last or eat the fruity tart at the end

  • Avatar
    Reply Joanne Mallon (@joannemallon) September 1, 2014 at 8:15 pm

    I just read this and now I want afternoon tea RIGHT NOW. But alas it’s 8:15pm. What have you done to me?

    • Avatar
      Reply Helen September 2, 2014 at 8:09 am

      Joanne – Ah yes, the lure of the afternoon tea is very strong.

  • Avatar
    Reply Gareth September 3, 2014 at 12:04 pm

    I once had AT at the Grosvenor, Mayfair. Was pretty much perfect as far as I can remember. Unlimited sandwiches (we went back for more sandwiches after the cakes to combat the sugar high!), excellent scones and good cakes. There was even a pianist tinkling in the background. The only drawback was a window seat – normally something to be looked for, but looking at all the traffic on Park Lane was not that attractive….

    I also had crumpets with honey at the Athenaeum which was pretty good.

  • Avatar
    Reply Sarah September 15, 2014 at 3:26 pm

    Great post- I agree with all so it must be good! 😉

    Only one thing to mention- jam should be proper conserve- NOT ‘in a jar’ R**ntree rubbish. I far prefer raspberry but understand strawberry seems to be the convention. Discuss?

    • Avatar
      Reply Helen September 15, 2014 at 3:29 pm

      I prefer raspberry too actually. Think the flavour works much better with scones – a lovely tartness to contrast all that rich cream.

  • Avatar
    Reply wearesavoury February 9, 2016 at 8:05 pm

    Wow this looks amazing!!

    Have you ever thought about savoury scones?

    Like beetroot and goats cheese or kale and feta??


  • Leave a Reply